Missouri scholarships sought for online university

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Gov. Jay Nixon.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Gov. Jay Nixon’s administration is seeking to expand college scholarships to Missouri students enrolled in an online university but is facing opposition from some traditional schools.

Nixon helped spearhead the creation of a Missouri branch of Western Governors University, an online institution.

He issued an executive order nearly two years ago directing the Missouri Department of Higher Education to ensure that its students can receive the same financial aid as those at Missouri’s public universities.

The department is pursuing a rule change to make that happen. But it’s being opposed by the Independent Colleges and Universities of Missouri. That group says any change should require a new law, and it’s raising concerns about expanding scholarships too far.

A legislative committee is to hold a hearing Wednesday on the rule change.